Human Rights

Sri Lanka security forces intensify targeting Tamil women

Rights activists and politicians called for the immediate release of mother and teenage daughter held by Sri Lankan authorities, while fresh details emerge of the country's military continuing with its terror campaign targetting women in the Tamil areas.

The protest in the Northern town of Vavunia on Saturday (15) called by the Tamil National Peoples Front condemning the detention of Balendran Jeyakumari and 13 year old daughter Vipooshika Balendran has met with heavy police opposition.

Officials say that Jeyakumari detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has been taken to the Boosa prison in southern Sri Lanka and the daughter handed over to state probation. 

Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council's 25th session in Geneva on Friday, Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Sasithran voiced her condemnation calling the arrest an 'open threat to every child protesting against injustices'.

Highlighting the threats posed by the government security forces deployed in the north-east, TNA woman councillor told the UNHRC that the military is frequently accused of sexual violence on Tamil women and children.

Pregnant mother arrested

Prior to the arrest of mother and daughter from Darmapuram in Kilinochchi, who were prominent activists of Families of Disappeared, JDS has learnt that the Sri Lankan security forces had detained at least two other women from the Tamil majority North-East.

Reports from the Eastern district of Trincomalee say that Balaguruparan Tharmila who is pregnant and mother of a four-year old boy from Paalai Ootru area is held in Colombo after been arrested on the 12th of March by Sri Lankan intelligence officers.

Young woman detained

Meanwhile, a 28 year old woman Nitharsana, from Visvamadu in the north eastern Mullaithivu district is believed to be held by the police Terrorism Investigation Department (TID). She was also arrested on the 12th of March alongside her mother and brother who were released two days later.

Family members fear for the well being of the women in custody as legal access has not been granted.

Fear grips Vanni

A senior citizen from the Vanni told JDS on condition of anonymity that the whole area is gripped by fear. "Army and military intelligence officers are all over the place and check points are further tightened. Heavy military presence can be seen in the region."

The Paranthan-Mullaithivu road along the west coast and the Puthukudiyiruppu- Mankulam road have been heavily militarised with additional mobile and permanent check posts since late Thursday, he explained. 

Photo courtesy: @GGPonnambalam on Twitter

© JDS

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Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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